My husband needed clean underwear this morning.
Like, really needed clean underwear.
He waited for our dryer, set on 'speed dry', for one pair to be dry enough to stand wearing while I sat and thought of all of the times I could have bothered to throw clothes into the washing machine before early this morning and I prayed for those underwear to miraculously dry like five minutes ago.
We both sat on edge because this is not how we wanted this morning to go. Today, after over 10 days on a ventilator, his dad is going to be taken off of sedation and extubated.
With his dad being in such delicate health after an extremely difficult year, we all have been so concerned. Today could go any number of directions. And with all of his phone calls, hospital visits and everyday responsibilities lately, I certainly could have made sure this basic need was met to help him with all he is carrying.
PS- I might have been successful at my quick fix if I had taken the other clothing out of the dryer and left the one pair of boxers in to dry on their own. Hindsight, right?
He called me on his way to the hospital and brought this to the attention of my tired ol' brain. And he said, "You know, I feel like this dryer situation is what we as the church need to do. We need to throw everything OUT except for Jesus."
Y'all, this is super convicting to me because gracious, how this very thing has been on my heart. My goodness, how the Lord has been refining me and drawing me nearer to His heart in this season.
And yet, I've found myself filling up on the things of this world instead, like He's not enough for me.
I have felt incredibly uncomfortable (telling my husband dramatically when he asks how I'm doing, "Oh, you know, just dying... to my flesh.") and turned from that discomfort to all of the THINGS going on in the world.. which doesn't even make sense, especially if you've checked out the news lately or caught up on the controversies of the week.
Instead of being faithful with the things right in front of me, like laundry for my loved ones, I often chose numbing out on social media and even got a little too caught up in current events. Instead of running to the arms of my Father and instead of sitting with the One who is able to empathize with my weakness, I often just traded His presence and His healing balm for lesser, "easier" things. These things have just served to clutter up the "dryer" of my life. As a result, my heart may feel heavy and overwhelmed and the voice of the Lord seems to be drowned out underneath it all.
Doesn't Matthew 11:28-30 say to come to Jesus, all of His weary and burdened children, and He will give us rest? Doesn't He say that His yoke is easy and His burden is light and that He is gentle?
Isn't He the Lover of our souls, King of our hearts, the only One able to satisfy? Isn't the Word filled with promises to us from our Jesus??
So, where is our focus? And why is it so often not on Jesus?
Later on this morning, laundry in the washing machine and many, many more loads lined up for their turn through the wash, I put my phone down to walk outside and take care of our birds (chickens, turkeys and ducks- and a whole lot of mess!). Once they've been watered- the water-attacking dog, too- I begin to water the garden. It's a little sad looking because of all of the trees in the yard, but we have several squash plants that are growing well and a very large pumpkin vine we are super proud of, especially considering that it came from our compost bin after carving pumpkins last fall.
As I water, I inspect the vines for any new growth. Our squash climb the fence as they grow and the vines have these little tendrils that look young and delicate, but they are what is holding the entire plant upright. And the plants that have grown past the fence have tendrils growing out near the tops, reaching for something to grasp onto.
The thing about these tendrils that fascinates me is that they wrap themselves around the fence post until they look like curly-q's. They're not going anywhere. And the ones that are reaching? You can bet that once they find another part of the fence, they'll do the same thing and will not let go.
I'm standing in the garden, thinking about focus and distractions and fixing our eyes on Christ and I just think to myself, "I think these squash plants are showing me how to pray."
The thing is, my own will to lay down worldly things and to focus in on Christ will only take me so far. But I know that if I ask God to help me, to transform and renew my mind, and for the desires of my heart to be aligned with His heart, He is faithful to do so. I believe He delights in doing so, because He sees our hearts and our struggles and our shortcomings and when we see them and recognize our dependence on Him, that's an invitation for the Lord to come in and do a work that only He can do. His power in our weakness is always a beautiful, beautiful thing.
And so we can pray to be loosed from anything other than a firm foundation to hold us up on.
We can pray that the Lord will lead us into all Truth and that we will cling to Him and His Word and His presence in such a way that no one or no thing can easily remove or unwrap us from Him.
We can pray that when we've come to the end of ourselves and we are reaching and grasping for Him, that He will see our outstretched hands as beautiful longings for Him and Him alone to sustain us.
And we can thank Him that as long as we keep praying and asking and seeking, we can rest assured that He will be there.
Our unshakeable, immovable, unchanging God.
WRITTEN BY: OLIVIA CALDWELLHead over to the Community to join in the conversation!
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